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Internships: A Test Drive to Professional Career Ahead

An internship is on-the-job training for the students while studying. It is the process of applying academic knowledge practically in a workplace setting. An internship is the best way to gain training skills and real corporate world experience for the students, which will train them for handling job opportunities before they start their career. Students go for the internships for academic research, voluntary services etc and these can also provide financial support to the interns. During an Internship well supervised, structured, and short-term or long-term programs are assigned to undergraduate or graduate students. The tasks and duties performed by the interns will benefit both the interns and the organizations. Students go for the internships to gain experience in a particular job field as well as to get exposure about the field in which they are interested to make their professional career. Internships are an excellent way to build connections and maintaining a strong professional network for the future.

Types of Internships:

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There are different types of Internships available for the students, which can be differentiated on various basis i.e. Duration Based: part-time internships, full-time internship, short-term internship, long-term internship; Finance Based: paid internships, non-profit internships; Subject Based: Engineering internships (Boeing, MSN etc), Science internships, Arts internships (Museum internships, Design internships), Fashion Internships, Music Internships, Finance Internships etc.; Session Based: Summer, Fall and Spring Internships; Employer Based: Government internships and Private Internships and on the basis of Geographical Area: National and International internships.

-Part-time internship: These types of Internships are offered to the interns during their semester in which after or before the class they go to the internship.

-Full-time internship: These are offered during the summer or winter holidays, their duration lasts from 4-12 weeks.

-Short-term internship: These types of internship are also known as a volunteer internship lasts for the duration of 1-4 weeks.

-Long-term internship: These internships are offered for proper training during the academic session or after completing any professional courses. Interns who avail long-term internships have a fair chance to get hired in that organization. The prospects of hiring ex-interns are very high because they understand the company and the job they will be doing.

-Paid internships: Paid internships are most common in the professions like engineering, law, medical science, advertising, etc. These are the pre-job training session in which interns go through the practical exposure of their academic studies.

-Non Profit internships: Nonprofit organizations are not to make money they focus on providing services. Nonprofit organizations include charities, universities, government agencies, religious organizations and some hospitals. Here interns are not paid for their work.

-A research internship or dissertation internship: Students go to the research internship in the last year of their academic study. An intern will undertake research for a particular company and make the professional report related to any topic of study.

-Subject Based Internships: Many subject based internships are available for the students. These are available on different level of study like Graduate level, Postgraduate level, PhD or Research level. Examples: Science internships, Arts internships (Museum internships, Design internships), Fashion internships, Music internships, Finance Internships, Law internships, etc.

-Government Internships: The government of various countries fund so many internships in which a student can learn about the practical working of the departments. Internships in the field of environment, education, medicine and even in the military are available. Some of the Government internship programs are; the Washington Internship Program, the White House internship, Internship in the Legislative Department Ministry of Law and Justice, etc.

Companies Providing Internships

There are many international and national companies offering paid or unpaid internships to the students. Some of the well known companies which offer internship programs are listed below:
Google provides a favourable atmosphere to their interns at all levels with higher compensation package.
Boeing provides internships in many fields like Engineering, Engineering technology, Computer science, Mathematics and Business.
Procter&Gamble is a consumer good giant and helps interns in interacting with upper level management, provides excellent training and continued learning for interns.
Microsoft gives real work and real opportunities of work to its interns that are different from the classroom studies. They provide exposure to the interns about the dynamic world of product development at Microsoft.
Cisco offers flexible internship programs throughout the year in search of new talents, who are interested in their business.

Various companies which provide internships are; the Coca Cola company, HCL Technologies, Apple, Yahoo, Intel, Qualcomm, L’Oreal, Unilever, PricewaterhouseCoopers, Ernst & Young, the Big Five, Deloitte & Touche, Hewlett-Packard, etc., the list will be rather endless.

Benefits of Internships

In today‡s competitive era internships are very useful in getting a good job as it provides a rich experience. Internships are very beneficial for the students and some of its benefits are as below:

-Practical experience: – Apart from the academic studies, internships are helpful in getting practical exposure about the industry, work profile, its challenges and growth prospects.

-Better job opportunities: – Any internship experience mentioned in the CV gives a positive impact on the employer and employers will be more likely to consider persons at least with some experience instead of a fresher. The contacts made during the internship will help the interns in getting better chances and progress into the chosen career.

-Develop interpersonal and team skills: – Internship experience helps in understanding the workplace and job related challenges and help developing the skills to tackle with those challenges. It will also be helpful in knowing the way of communication with colleagues and seniors and how to work in a team.

-Interns turn to employees: – Good performance during an internship can lead to a good job offer in the same organization at the end of the internship.

-Benefits for the company: – Companies get economic labour in the form of interns for their office based tasks. Internships are the mode of advertising job vacancies among the students and in return the companies get ex-interns who are experienced and already trained and hire them as their full-time employees after completing their university studies.

Internship Search Process

Time and effort are required for searching a good internship. Students interested in internships should contact their career services office in advance and ask for the details about the good internship opportunities. Students should concern with their academic advisors and faculty members for recommending internships. Career services offices will be the best options for students to search for internships. Timely, students should check the websites of different companies for the internship announcement and forward their resumes with the organizations where the students are interested to go for internship.

Preferred International Internship Destinations

To have best internship experiences students are now moving globally for their internships. China, UK, Australia, USA, Canada, Germany, etc. are the famous destinations for internships.

Some Available Internship Programs of 2014
Spring 2014 White House Internship Program in USA
Dickey International Internships for Undergraduates to Carry Out Leave-Term Projects Abroad, 2014
The University of British Columbia Arts Internship for Undergraduate Students in Canada, 2014
2014 The Peter Nygh Hague Conference Internship for Australian Students at the Hague in the Netherlands
2014 NJC Internships for Spring, Summer & Fall Sessions at Washington, DC in USA
CSIS Internships for Undergraduates, Advanced Students & Recent Graduates in USA, 2013/2014
NPPC Washington Internship Program in USA, 2014

If intern and the company both involve in serious training during the internship then both have an a fair chance to gain many things from each other. For interns good internship training is just like a big surprise in a small package. The experience gained during an internship is valuable to students and helps them in differentiating how their studies are applied in the workplace. All the experience acquired during the internships helps to cope up with the problems during the tough competition of the professional life ahead.

Ghosia Tabassum